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Intergenerational Effects of Family Planning Programs: Evidence From Madagascar

  • 2015-2017
  • Project
Herrera-Almanza, Catalina, Northeastern University

Study: “Intergenerational Effects of Family Planning Programs: Evidence from Madagascar”
PI(s): Herrera-Almanza, Catalina
Affiliation(s): Northeastern University
Institutional Partner(s): PRB/Hewlett Alumni Research Grant
Project Dates:
Start: 2015
End: 2017
Data Source(s): Demographic Household Surveys
Methods: Difference-in-Difference
Geographic Location(s): Madagascar


Empirical evidence on the effects of family planning programs on women’s and their children human capital is scant in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly, in Madagascar where there has been a rapid increase of reproductive health services over the last two decades. Access to family planning and sexual reproductive health services for young women can not only prevent poor pregnancy outcomes but can also potentially enhance young women’s education opportunities and increase their accumulation of human capital. These education gains in young women can also be translated into better health and education outcomes for their children, breaking potential channels of intergenerational poverty transmission.

Using the Demographic Household Surveys from 1992 to 2009, this project will address whether family planning program access has reduced fertility outcomes, and thus, if it has induced an increase in women’s economic opportunities as well as an increase in their children’s human capital (health and schooling). These repeated cross-section surveys collect socio-demographic information for women in reproductive age (15 to 49) including fertility history, family planning use as well as education, marital status and asset index and gather data on children’s health outcomes such as birth weight, height-for-age, breastfeeding and vaccinations among other indicators. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, researchers will identify impacts based on geographic and timing differences in the roll-out of the family planning programs across communities in Madagascar. The empirical models are expected to establish causal linkages between these interventions and women’s fertility outcomes and their children’s well-being. These results will inform policy-makers in Madagascar, and more generally in developing countries, about the importance and effectiveness of family planning programs in breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty.

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